Sherry is a parent and nurse running for Board of Education in Grand Island. As a medical professional, Sherry knows first-hand the mental health impact that students have faced in the last two years. As a mom, she knows what the learning loss looks like. Most importantly, she knows what it's like when parents don't have a voice. We are happy to support Sherry for the Grand Island Board of Education this year!
My name is Sherry Steffans, a mother of 4 GI children. I am a registered nurse and currently work as a full time school nurse and a part time ER nurse at a local hospital. Working with children throughout the pandemic has opened my eyes to the many mental health care needs there are. I decided to further my knowledge and expertise by going back to school for my masters degree.
My current educational focus and research is on programs that will open dialogue with students surrounding mental health and to utilize interventions to reduce mental health challenges. Additionally, I want to work with schools, parents and our community to create positive connections. I value our teachers and staff and believe they should be supported. Providing our teachers with the support and resources they need will prevent burnout and promote student academic success.
Jim has been an outspoken proponent of getting a new voice on the Board of Education in Grand Island. He understands the need to support students, and we are happy to endorse him.
One of my oldest friends on the Island, dating back to 1961, thinks I am nuts. He is right. Another friend of over 50 years, from Grad School, thinks I am doing the honorable thing. He, also, is right.
The past two years have shown the indifference toward and, in some cases, outright neglect of the well-being of our students. The claque in Albany dictated to the schools throughout the state. As usual, it was a one size fits all approach. That is bad enough in serene times, much less in the chaos inflicted by Covid. Further, many of their diktats were not based on science as they should have been. There was no cost-benefit analysis done of the collateral damage caused by their decisions. I was shocked by the passiveness with which almost every district accepted these orders. Neither the governor or the DOH was ever compelled to provide evidence as to why their approach was appropriate.
This is what drove me to run. I will not take as an answer: “Because I/We said so.” There has to be a clear benefit from taking said action instead of another. I will push to have the Voice of the People section of the Board meetings restructured so there is dialogue. Also, we definitely need to encourage students to consider going into the trades. Finally, I haven’t forgotten about the budget. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago, specializing in finance and accounting. I know budgets.